My Presentation: Ideas & Advice for Entrepreneurs

I spoke today at the TAG Entrepreneurs event. I’ve been going to this event for years and really enjoy it. Here is what I talked about:

Do What you Love

I’ve been selling stuff since I was 5 years old and it’s always put a smile on face. As I got older I progressed to selling millions of dollars in the enterprise and one thing has never changed: when I can solve someone’s problem and provide something that excites them, there’s no end to the joy it creates. It’s a blessing to be able to earn a living from your passion.

Embrace Mentorship

We can only go so far by ourselves. The world is filled with knowledge and wisdom and people who want to help. Find them & embrace them. Mentorships can range from being closely personal to being influencers on the web. I recommend a range of both. Mentors will help with everything…raising money, building a team, creating a product, marketing & sales strategies, etc. The reward doubles when you become a mentor yourself.

Go an Inch Wide and a Mile Deep

Early in my career, I tried to do everything. And it meant I couldn’t be spectacular at anything. When I met Charlie Paparelli, who would become a great mentor to me, he shared this lesson about focus. It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn many times over throughout my career.

Keep it Simple

The simpler you keep things, the easier it is to work with others and get lots of stuff done. I’ve written about this recently on the salesforce.com blog and here on this blog. An easy way to start is to shorten your emails and be brief in communication. Keeping things simple is huge.

Cherish Corporate Culture

David Cummings is known for one of my favorite quotes, “corporate culture is the only sustainable advantage that is completely within control of the entrepreneur”. It’s absolutely true. Sometimes in startups you have to make the hard decision and choose culture over short-term progress. We’ve had to do this ourselves at SalesLoft and will continue to make the best decisions for the culture of our company.

Build Community & Deliver Content

Customers are everything and building community with them allows you to be close and best understand them. We focus a lot of time on the world of sales professionals who are out there struggling with day-to-day challenges. Our goal is to help solve their challenges (not just through our products), but through blogs, videos, conferences (like B2BCamp), and speaking presentations. We’re also involved in the local startup scene through Atlanta Tech Village, ASV, Hypepotamus, & ATDC. I feel the local tech community is worth 10% of my time and the sales community much more.

Empathy and Sincerity

This lies at the heart of everything that matters to me. At SalesLoft, we want to build amazing sales products that help professionals show more care and sincerity to their prospects. I want to constantly put myself in the shoes of our buyers, stakeholders, community, and most importantly our team so that people we come in contact with will be more fulfilled by our presence.

I really enjoyed speaking at ATDC today for the TAG event and look forward to sharing my story again in the future…hopefully next time our business will have experienced great growth and success.

  1. Keeping things simple on the communication front is very good advice. Simple means clear, focused, to the point messages that get to the heart of the matter. People frequently fall into the trap of over complicating things because they believe it makes them appear knowledgeable and credible, when in fact the reverse is true.

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